Former official for Virginia Beach pool contractor had record of economic crimes

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Court records show that Chris Fowler, 36, former president of Artistic Pools Unlimited, Inc. was convicted in 2008 of several economic crimes. Fowler was listed as president from February to April of this year, according to the website of the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

Our previous coverage last week included several customers of Artistic from the past two years. They paid anywhere from a deposit of $5,000 to a series of payments totaling nearly $40,000 for swimming pools that were never completed, or in some cases, never started.

Some of those customers say they dealt with Fowler to some extent in their transactions as well as John Jiannine, who is listed as Artistic’s current president on the SCC website.

10 On Your Side visited Fowler’s Virginia Beach home Monday morning, which is listed as the address of the current contractor of record by the state Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Fowler’s wife told us “he has no association with Artistic Pools whatsoever and Chris has not worked with Artistic Pools in almost two years.”

As recently as February, Fowler listed himself as Artistic’s president with the SCC.

Liam Benincasa was part of our initial report Wednesday. He described how he paid nearly $35,000 to Artistic and his pool was never completed. On Thursday, Benincasa went to the Economic Crimes Unit of Virginia Beach Police Department with a charge of construction fraud against Fowler.

The Wednesday report included complaints from five different customers. After it aired, four more came forward with similar stories of delays and excuses. Some had holes dug in their yard and framework was erected, while others received virtually no work or materials at all.

Fowler has a criminal record of economic crime in Virginia Beach. In 2008, he was charged with 18 counts of obtaining money under false pretenses, forgery and forging checks. He agreed to plead guilty when the charges were amended from felonies to misdemeanors. The judge sentenced Fowler to 29 years 6 months, but suspended all but six months.

As part of the judge’s sentencing order, Fowler had to remain on good behavior for 20 years after release, essentially until 2028.

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